Pricewaterhouse To Audit NFF Books

PricewaterhouseThe new NFF Executive Committee has approved the hiring of the services of world–famous Pricewaterhouse to audit the accounts of the Federation.

This was part of the resolutions reached at the meeting of the Executive Committee which took place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja on Wednesday night.

Related to this is the approval given to hire the services of Financial Derivatives, another much respected firm, to act as financial consultants of the NFF, and Ben & Co to act as Management Consultants.

“This is all part of our vision to drive the engine of Nigeria football differently but energetically and to let the world know that we are determined to be transparent and accountable. All these decisions are being taken in the best interest of Nigeria football,” explained NFF President, Amaju Pinnick.

According to a statement by the NFF Assistant Director (Communications), Ademola Olajire, Hon. Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande was, also on Wednesday night, named the Chairman of the Match Commissioners/Assessors Sub-Committee, which will work under the Referees Committee.

The Vice Chairman is Abel Ehigie, and members are Jamila Buhari, Abdulkadir Magaji Kabaka, Manzo Mohammed, James Odeniran, Mohammed Alkali, Emma Ochiaga, Bola Abidoye and Dave Egho.

The Executive Committee opted to constitute the Internal Audit Committee at a later date.

The fabulous run of the Senior Women National Team, Super Falcons, also got the attention of the Committee, which commended the maximum points garnered by the girls in their first two matches of the 9th African Women Championship in Namibia.

The Falcons have sailed into the semi finals of the competition ahead of their final match of the group phase against the host nation, having scored 10 goals and conceded only two.

The Super Eagles also received praise for their fighting spirit in the 3-1 defeat of Sudan in Abuja on Wednesday; a feat that keeps alive hopes of qualification for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Keshi’s Sack Was In Interest Of Nigerians – Pinnick

pinnickThe new president of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has said that the decision of the NFF to sack Stephen Keshi and his team was in the interest of Nigerians.

Former Coach, Keshi had been widely criticised for the poor performance of the national team in the qualifying games for the African Nations cup. However, following a 3-1 home win against Sudan on Wednesday and a hostile attitude towards the coach, the NFF executive committee, on Thursday, released a statement, announcing the sack of the coach.

“We did that because we saw a lot of things that had happened in the past, there were issues that bothered about security, from the beginning of the game, we saw that a hero in Keshi was booed from the beginning of the match.

The NFF President also stated that security agents had to interfere because at the end of the match people were running to the pitch.

“We took all this decision to save him and let him know that he’s a hero and should remain a hero.”

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise, Mr. Pinnick mentioned that the last NFF administration had concluded on signing Amodu Shuaibu as the Technical Director of the football federation and he is just to manage the remaining two matches.

He also suggested that the former coach and his administration could go for a refresher courses anywhere which would be sponsored by the NFF, adding that in the future this would help him if he decides to come back as Eagles coach.

Mr. Pinnick apologised to the fans for the steps taken, “It is not a decision that is primordial based or playing to the gallery but looking at documentations as it relates to the way forward.”

Mr. Pinnick also noted that Keshi would be paid all outstanding entitlement within two weeks. He debunked the reports making the rounds that the Super Eagles players played for Keshi and not Nigeria.

Blatter Congratulates Pinnick

FIFA President Joseph Blatter addresses news conference in HavanaFIFA president Sepp Blatter, has endorsed Amaju Pinnick as Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president. Pinnick, 43, who is Delta State Sports Commission chairman and Delta FA boss, was elected on Tuesday

Blatter said in a letter to Pinnick: “I wish you good luck, strength and every success for your new role and look forward to meeting you soon.”

His comments allay fears that Nigeria were heading for a ban as a result of Fifa not ratifying the election.

“I would like to extend my sincere congratulations and best wishes of success on the occasion of your election as the new president of the Nigeria Football Federation,” said Blatter.

“Your knowledge and experience will certainly have an important impact on the stable development of our beautiful game in your country. You can rely on my personal support and Fifa’s assistance in order to reach this goal.

“The doors of the home of Fifa are open whenever you wish to discuss any relevant issues concerning the game and its governance”, he said.

Pinnick, who will lead the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) till 2018, expressed his desire to unite divisions that have blighted the country’s game.

“The plan is to make genuine reconciliatory moves. I will personally go to Jos to see and speak to Chris Giwa because we all need to come together for the sake of our country and football,” he said.

Pinnick also said his board will make a collective decision over the appointment of a permanent coach for the Super Eagles, with Stephen Keshi currently in the role only on a temporary basis.

“The president is not a sole decision-maker. The board will meet soon to decide the right step,” Pinnick told BBC Sport.

Amaju Pinnick was elected the new President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) after winning the general elections held in Warri, Delta State.

Pinnick, who is the Executive Chairman of the Delta State Sports Commission, won the election by 32 votes after it went into a re-run and will replace Aminu Maigari as the new President of the NFF for the next four years.

Two rounds of voting were needed to determine the clear winner of the election after Pinnick got 29 votes out of the 44 accredited delegates, but it was not enough to secure a two-third victory.

However, in the run-off between former General Secretary of the NFF, Taiwo Ogunjobi, Dominic Iorfa and Pinnick, it was the latter who got the votes again that saw him emerge triumphant.

This time, Pinnick got 32 votes while Iorfa got 8 and Ogunjobi got four votes.

Amaju Pinnick Emerges As New NFF President

Amaju-Pinnick-400x300Amaju Pinnick has emerged as the new President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) after winning the general elections held in Warri, Delta State.

Pinnick, who is the Executive Chairman of the Delta State Sports Commission, won the election by 32 votes after it went into a re-run and will replace Aminu Maigari as the new President of the NFF for the next four years.

Two rounds of voting were needed to determine the clear winner of the election after Pinnick got 29 votes out of the 44 accredited delegates, but it was not enough to secure a two-third victory.

However, in the run-off between former General Secretary of the NFF, Taiwo Ogunjobi, Dominic Iorfa and Pinnick, it was the latter who got the votes again that saw him emerge triumphant.

This time, Pinnick got 32 votes while Iorfa got 8 and Ogunjobi got just four votes.

More details to follow.

NFF Congress: Candidates Are Offering N3 Million Bribe For Votes – Sports Journalist

Nnamdi_ObanyaA sports journalist, Mr Nnamdi Obanya on Tuesday said candidates running for positions on the board of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) are reported to be offering between N2 to N3 million bribes to candidates that will vote for them during the congress.

Mr Obanya said “we are hearing all sorts, some we want to believe and some we don’t want to believe” adding that “delegates are being offered between N2 to N3 million to vote for certain candidates”, he said on Sunrise Daily.

He further noted that those trying to use a court injunction to stop the NFF elections that “a Federal High Court, an Appeal Court, a State High Court or a Magistrate Court don’t have any jurisdiction over the NFF” insisting that “only the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has any jurisdiction over the NFF.

“The NFF is under CAF, which is under FIFA and it is a federation. And by your constitutional right, and freedom of association, you cannot stop anybody from a holding a congress within the constitution of the association and that is what NFF is doing”, maintaining that “it is as simple as that”.

He further noted that “there has been no criminal activity, which is the only reason you can call for such injunctions and the likes”.
He accused ‘some people’ of trying to test their importance at the NFF, adding that “security agents again tried to pick up (Aminu) Maigari, but this time he was able to find his way out”.

He added that despite ‘tough talks’ by (Taiwo) Ogunjobi and (Amanze) Uchegbulam, “it looks like it is a straight fight between (Shehu) Dikko and (Amaju) Pinnick; they seem to be the two front runners; they seem to be the two candidates that most people think will win the election”.

He also expressed hope that the “palpable tension in Warri now will not translate into something else when the time comes”.

Already, representatives of the world football governing body, FIFA, and the Confederation of African Football (CAF), led by Ghana’s Football Federation (GFA) President, Kwesi Nyantaki, have arrived in Warri for the elective congress.

Among the candidates vying to replace outgoing NFF president, Aminu Maigari, are Amaju Pinnick from Delta State, Amanze Uchegbulam from Imo State, Taiwo Ogunjobi (Osun), Shehu Dikko (Kaduna) and Dominic Iorfa from Benue State.

Others are incumbent first vice president, Mike Umeh (Anambra) and Abba Yola (Kano State).

Candidates for the first vice president position are Emeka Inyama (Imo), Seyi Akinwunmi (Lagos State), Adamu Shehu (Kaduna) and Suleyman Muazu from Sokoto State.

The delegates will also elect zonal representatives on the board.

Commonwealth Games: Credit Governor Uduaghan For Okagbare’s Success – Pinnick

BlessingThe Executive Chairman, Delta State Sports Commission, Amaju Pinnick, on Friday, attributed the success of Nigerian sprinter, Blessing Okagbare, at the 2014 Commonwealth Games to the support by Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan,

During an interview on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Pinnick said that the Governor “gave her everything she needed to succeed.”

He revealed that GovernorUduaghan played a major in the comeback of Blessing as he gave her regular words of encouragement, pep talks and financial assistance, which included approving a training grant of 10,000 dollars monthly for her.

Pinnick,who also lauded Blessing as an excellent athlete who had a vision and mission, maintained that the role of State Governments in achieving better performances in sport was very important.

He cited Governor Uduaghan’s support for Blessing as an example of how State Governments could help improve the standard of sports in Nigeria.

He, however, also said that the success of Blessing’s wins was also as a result of the support from President Goodluck Jonathan.

“After the Olympics which Nigeria performed badly in, the President called a summit, (and) that was the beginning and launch pad to Nigeria’s success in sports. He emphasized on funding, which the country hardly has a problem with now”, he said.

Mr Pinnick also stressed that if there was a  proper structure in Sports Medicine, the case of Amalaha, who was suspended from the Commonwealth Games for failing a drugs test, may have been prevented.

He claimed that Amalaha might have been a victim of using malaria drugs that have some form of banned steroids in them.

He, however, advised that there should be more concentration and establishment of a National Sports Commission were there would be a proper structure in making sure that there are technocrats working in all d various departments.

Mr Pinnick urged the Senate President to help put this factors into the law establishing the National Sports Commission.

Keshi Should Have Stuck With Nations Cup Team – Amaju Pinnick

sports commissionerThe Executive Chairman, Delta State Sports Commission, Amaju Pinnick has said that Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi should have stuck with the team that played for the African Nations Cup in 2013.

He stated that the team Nigeria will be playing with Bosnia is not a team one can trample on neither can Argentina be easy for the Super Eagles.

“If Nigeria has the best team it would be possible for Nigeria to win the world cup, what I thought Keshi would have done is to stick with the Nations Cup team because they bring luck” he noted.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, the Sports Commissioner highlighted  the last match with Nigeria and Iran, stating that there was no connection between the goalkeeper and the defense, no connection between the defenders and the midfielders, likewise the midfielders and attackers.

“That is the football that was played over 20 years ago but in modern day football, if a team is going to score you will see it from the defense, the calculation, movement and technicality” he explained.

He further stated that the Iran coach  Carlos Queiroz trained his team for such an outcome because he had worked as an assistant coach with Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United) and has coached some of the big teams in the world, “He is a coach that is very seasoned and Nigeria cannot win the World Cup” he stated.

The Commissioner also commended Stephen Keshi on his job so far on the Super Eagles, but advised that he should look inwards and take advise from people.

SPORTS: Credit President Jonathan For Abdullahi’s Success – Amaju Pinnick

Amaju PinnickThe Executive Chairman, Delta State Sports Commission, Amaju Pinnick, on Friday attributed the success of sacked Sports Minister, Mr Bolaji Abdullahi to President Goodluck Jonathan, maintaining that the President “gave him everything he needed to succeed.”

President Jonathan, on Wednesday sacked Mr Abdullahi and ordered that one of the 11 newly sworn in ministers, Dr Tamuno Danagogo, take over.

While on Sunrise Daily, Pinnick, who lauded the sacked minister, Bolaji Abdullahi as an excellent man who had a vision and mission, opined that “Sport is a continuous process and the minister being removed is a case of the devil and the deep blue sea.”

He also maintained that Abdullahi’s record beats those of his predecessors over the past 20 years. “In fact, in the last 20 years, he’s one minister that has been very exceptional in brilliance and putting things together but it goes beyond that.”

He further credited the ex-minister’s success to his easy access and rapport with the President, who gave him everything he needed to succeed.

He said that the success recorded by the former minister were also as a result of the President’s support. “That’s the key element; the Presidency gave him all the support, so you cannot attribute his success to him alone but also to the President.”

Mr Pinnick also credited the Nigerian Football Federation “as well as some state governments including Lagos, Delta, Cross Rivers, Rivers and (maybe) Ondo for giving the former minister a good platform to work on.”

According to Pinnick, “The good news about this whole thing is that he has been able to establish a template” which his successor will benefit from and improve on. So, the success story of Nigerian sports development can continue.

“I think in the historiography of Nigeria, annals of history in Nigeria, his name certainly will be etched in one place.”

On speculations that Abdullahi was sacked for political reasons, Pinnick said “you cannot serve two masters” and so “nobody wants to care whether you are successful.”

He maintained that people should not fault the President’s action as he may have information they are not privy to. Pinnick further advocated a fixed tenure for the position of Sports Minister in order to control how they are removed from office.

I Will Not Congratulate Kano Pillars – Delta FA Chairman

The Chairman of Delta State Football Association, Amaju Pinnick, on Monday said that he would not congratulate the champions of the Nigeria Premier League, Kano Pillars, adding that he  respects the club but does not believe in “winning at all costs.”

Pinnick, who was speaking on Sunrise Daily, commented on a number of football-related issues particularly those involving poor media coverage of league matches, lack of credibility of Nigerian referees and Coach Keshi’s unpaid salaries.

The Kano Pillars have been celebrated for emerging winners at the recently concluded Nigerian Premier League.

Pinnick stated that although he respects the Kano Pillars for its huge investments in the players and entire club, he will not congratulate the club on winning the League and alleged that the club must have been involved in shady activities.

‘Winning must not come at all costs,” he said, adding that, there are a lot of dirty things in the league.

On the overall planning and execution of the League, the Delta FA boss commended the League Management Committee, LMC, for rescuing the league from a hopeless situation as there were no sponsors in its last two seasons.

He praised the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, leadership as well as the Sports Minister for assisting the committee to redefine the league but he raised issues of ‘hooliganism and terrible officiating.’

However, he averred that a functional synergy between the Nigeria Football Federation (NFA) and the LMC will bring a lasting solution to the problems facing the league.

He advocated that LMC be given more powers to enforce discipline in the league and in the teams which would stem the issue of hooliganism among players.

“The media coverage was also poor as up to 10 teams in a league do not have their games covered especially in the North, including Bayelsa United and Nembe City.”

“If Super Sports cannot go to those areas because of the security issues then it means players and officials cannot equally go to those places.”

Credible Referees

Pinnick also asked that LMC be given the authority to discipline referees as well because the questionable credibility of Nigerian referees is not only affecting the league but it reflects poorly on Nigeria’s image in the international football community.

“We are going to the World Cup. Nigeria will be struggling to bring one referee because of the credibility of Nigerian referees whereas countries such as Cape Verde, Burundi will have referees in such big games.

He disclosed that the President is keen on addressing the issue because it is also affecting him.

The committee will soon begin a ‘Friday Night Football,’ ‘Saturday Morning Football’ and ‘Monday Night Football’ programmes to encourage viewership.

On Keshi’s Salaries

He explained that a slash in the ministry’s budget may have resulted in the delay in Keshi’s salary and called on the National Sports Commission, Coach Keshi, as well as the leadership of the NFF to engage in dialogue as delayed pay will not motivate Keshi.

He also warned that such situation “can lead to other dirty things” such as players disrespecting coaches for collecting money from them.

“When you are not being paid, you must look for money to take care of your family,” he added.

He touched on other issues including the NFF President who he said should be commended for exceptional leadership.

Jonathan Plays Table Tennis Four Times A week

President Goodluck Jonathan has been revealed to be a very passionate sport lover who not only follow games but also actively participate by making time out of his busy schedule to play tennis and squash at least four times in a week.

This was made known by the executive chairman, Delta state Sports Commission, Amaju Pinnick, who was a guest on Channels TV Sunrise Daily while assessing the midterm report of the administration in the sports sector.

Mr Pinnick noted that he is privy to lots of information as he revealed how Governors such as the Governor of Lagos and Delta states are active sportsmen who are also very passionate about sport just as the President.

According to Mr Pinnick, “to make any impact -meaningful- in sport, one must first be passionate about sport” and this passion he claims the President exhibits by his detailed attention to every sporting activity in the country which has led to the drastic reforms in the sector.

“At least four times in a week he (President Jonathan) plays table tennis, he plays squash” he stated.

The sports administrator referred to President Jonathan as a ‘village boy’ due to the President’s origin from the aquatic Niger delta region, when he stated the President swims very well.

“And again, a village boy, he is a very good swimmer” he stated.

Mr Pinnick had earlier made similar reference to the Delta state governor.